Last year I didn't find out about AtomaCon (All Types of Media Arts Convention) until two days before it began, so I just went the last day and attended one panel (Ghost Hunting Tech); this time I bought a three-day pass as soon as they went on sale last November, so I was prepared to spend all weekend there and learn more about some of the things I'm interested in. On Saturday, November 15th, I attended the Haunted Carolinas panel, so I could hear Tally Johnson, Cheralyn Lambeth, Rebel Sinclair, Pamela Nance, and Ashley Field talk about haunted places in North and South Carolina.
Lavinia Fisher might be Charleston's most notorious ghost, and Rebel Sinclair said that she may have been buried in a potter's field (under what is now The Citadel's football field) since that's where executed prisoners were buried back when Lavinia Fisher was executed. The panelists talked more about the Old City Jail later; Rebel said that the ghosts of jailers have been seen there, and Pamela Nance and Ashley Field (who make up the paranormal investigation group Spirit Hunters of the South) talked about an investigation they did in 2010. They said that in a replica of a jail cell, Pamela took pictures while Ashley acted like a jailer, and when they looked at the pictures they took, a ghostly face could be seen between the bars of the cell. In the morgue area, they heard footsteps running toward Ashley, which then knocked her into Pamela, and when they listened to the recording, they heard a male voice say "That shook 'em" and a female voice say "F**k them." They believe that the female voice belonged to Lavinia Fisher since it was the voice of a white woman, and she was the only white woman ever held in the jail. At one point, a cameraman forgot Ashley's name, and a spirit supplied it for him (creepy!). This story sounded familiar to me, and I was pretty sure I must've seen Pamela and Ashley on a show I wrote about for my blog, and I was right:
It's not uncommon to hear about spirits of soldiers killed in battle, especially in the Carolinas. Cheralyn Lambeth said that at Kings Mountain Battlefield, two soldiers were killed by American troops and have haunted the road they died on ever since. She also showed us a picture of a flag in the Fort Sumter museum that has a ghostly face in it. The flag was shot down and retrieved by a Confederate soldier, and the Union army was so impressed by his bravery that they saluted him; during the 100-gun salute, a Union soldier was killed, and many believe that his face is the one in the flag.
Other hauntings the panelists discussed include:
-14 Legare Street: The house is said to be cursed, and Rebel believes that she and her now-husband were passed by Ruth Lowndes' coach while walking on Legare Street; they smelled horse-hide, but there were no horses around. They realized that they had just passed #14, the house where Ruth's husband lived alone during their marriage.
-1914 Chester County Jail: Tally Johnson said that six ghosts haunt the jail, and one of them (the spirit of a man imprisoned for slitting his wife's throat, putting her in a trashcan, and setting it on fire) possessed the leader of the paranormal group Tally was investigating with. Tally and his fellow paranormal investigators did a ghost box session at the jail, and the spirit they communicated with knew the names of all three of the investigators; when they ended the session, the cell door slammed shut. There is also a Victrola at the jail that plays by itself.
-Southend Brewery: Rebel told us that the building is haunted by a man who hanged himself, and sometimes people walking by can see his ghost.
-Cheralyn said her scariest moment was when she arrived at the hotel she was staying at during a paranormal investigation at Waverly Hills Sanitarium (All former sanitariums are haunted, aren't they?) and discovered that the hotel was hosting a Toddlers and Tiaras convention. (That does sound terrifying...I'd rather run into a ghost than a pageant mom.)
-Rebel said that sometimes the FBI holds EVP sessions after a murder because the sound waves from the event might still be there.
-Pamela and Ashley played an EVP recording where a spirit answered questions and told them his name. They decided to do an EVP session after Ashley's leg started burning all of a sudden, and they found out that the spirit of a man who had been shot in the leg was present.
-Tally said that the ghost of his great-grandfather appeared in his house the night before his wedding and tipped his hat to him...then Tally realized that he was no longer worried about getting married.
The Haunted Carolinas panel was really interesting, and I'm glad I got to go to it. The panelists were very knowledgeable about hauntings and paranormal investigations and told some fascinating stories.
Pamela Nance and Ashley Field